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Sticky bolt

13 Aug 2016
@ 11:23 pm (GMT)

Mike Woodhead

HI. ..just took my new T3 Varmint out to sight in with a Siii up top. Did all the previous use checks as per nathans books...all sweet. First 4 shots to hit paper then zero went fine. Then when I began to do some groups 1 in 3 rounds in no particular order the bolt would feel sticky to close not the normal T3 smoothness as I had on my 7mmRM. All cases ejected fine with no effort required to open bolt. Ionly use Hornady factory ammo. Will begin to learn handloading very soon. Any help be appreciated.

Replies

14 Aug 2016
@ 02:14 am (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Sticky bolt
Hey Mike. The cartridge is feeding into the bolt face behind the extractor claw from the magazine? If it's sitting in front of the bolt it'll be tight until the claw jumps over the case? Just a thought?
14 Aug 2016
@ 05:33 am (GMT)

Chris Murphy

Re: Sticky bolt
I would say it is a slightly short chamber I had the same with a t3 270 some cases were touching at base of the neck. Colour the case that sticks with a permanent marker and rechamber it and see where it's hitting
14 Aug 2016
@ 09:17 pm (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Sticky bolt
Most T3's l have worked with have tight tolerance chambers & head space.

Set up a 243w that will only run certain brands of factory ammo & even some rounds in those brands just won't chamber. F/L sizing is set pretty tight on the die to bump the shoulder & it's .2-.3 moa all day long.

Our 308w was the same along with a 223rem we load for. Everyone is a shooter & the result of tight build/machining tolerances through the whole rifle.............hint, hint other brands!!!
15 Aug 2016
@ 01:20 am (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Sticky bolt
So what's it like on a GO, NO GO. Gauge? Surely ammo and the chamber has to be manufactured within the sami spec measurements? That's pretty ordinary! Paying for stuff that doesn't work gives me the shits! Some one's letting the standards fall? I guess that if you reload it won't matter much. Remember the old days when stuff was simple and it worked? !
15 Aug 2016
@ 02:53 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Sticky bolt
We have found PPU to be great fun in Tikkas of many different cals!!
15 Aug 2016
@ 06:31 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: Sticky bolt
i would get your ammo and run it through the chamber and set in into to two piles one smooth feeding for hunt one sticky bolt for target shooting.
if you got no where to safely do so please remove your firing pin before cycling it through the action.

Warwick it'll still be in spec, if you look at saami specs there is a plus minus variant.
at a guess here the chamber is at the far end of the minus side (worn reamer maybe) and the ammo is at the far end of the plus side (worn die maybe)
it'll probably just close on a go gauge and no way in hell would it shut on a no-go gauge

my good old days are probably few decades after yours Warwick but i agree when appliances lasted over 10 years, and 300,000km were expected from a car, and things were actually proud of where they were made no hiding behind designed or engineered in a certain country but made in china ( im Fing wild at methven tapeware at the moment for this)
15 Aug 2016
@ 08:12 am (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Sticky bolt
Hey Thomas. Haven't you heard of that stuff called thread tape? gap tape and hole tapes to come!!! Good info thanks for sharing mate. building new Teefree rifles with worn out Sako production line tools! Hahaha!
20 Aug 2016
@ 07:10 am (GMT)

Mike Woodhead

Re: Sticky bolt
Went out and cycled all empty cases all cycled fine, no issues..ugh.
Took out the second box of loaded rounds..12 cycled smooth 8 the bolt felt sticky/stiff to close. Took out calipers and checked every round...all the same.
From a clean barrel fired two 3 shot groups of each ones. With cleaning of barrel in between each group
The smooth cycling rounds both grouped .6"
The others that caused the bolt to feel sticky/stiff both grouped .3"
As I'm relatively new to aspects of firearms compared to most of the you guys could the bolt issue become a safety problem?
20 Aug 2016
@ 04:38 pm (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: Sticky bolt
If you were hand loading ammo the issue could be resolved by refining your overall cartridge length. Another option might be to have a gunsmith look at resolving this issue so you could shoot most factory ammunition. In doing so however you could also opt for a match grade barrel spec'd to what your needs are..
20 Aug 2016
@ 07:59 pm (GMT)

Mike Woodhead

Re: Sticky bolt
Bryan, I also tried a box of winchester 55grain that have a longer overall length they all cycled fine...but grouped at .8"
Time to get it ckecked by gunsmith and have the bolt and action trued I think and buy Nathana handloading book to go with the others and learn to reload.
Thanks for the help guys.
20 Aug 2016
@ 08:28 pm (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Sticky bolt
Grab a permanent marker and colour in the sticky cases that chamber and carefully cycle them to see where the marker has worn off, including the neck.

This sounds like a tight headspace issue and if so there will be a witness mark to show it.
Grease the lugs too Mike as l have seen a Tikka gall after many repeated tight chambering's as the fella tried to sort this out.
20 Aug 2016
@ 10:39 pm (GMT)

Mike Woodhead

Re: Sticky bolt
The only witness marks are at the base of the neck.
If that helps.
21 Aug 2016
@ 03:55 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Sticky bolt
If you can Mike post a photo, Nathan has listed instructions on how to do it via photo bucket etc. at this link.

http://www.ballisticstudies.com/Resources/Discussion+Forums/x_forum/29/thread/1586.html

Base of the neck parallel or where the shoulder taper starts?

The headspace is set off the shoulder angle in this type of cartridge. When full length sizing any cases I leave this measurement as tight as possible. Just easing the tight feel that you are experiencing on the bolt. Many rifles deliver very good accuracy when F/L dies are set up this way.
21 Aug 2016
@ 05:36 am (GMT)

Mike Woodhead

Re: Sticky bolt
Martin...where the shoulder taper begins.
Just to be clear these are 'factory' not handloads.
I will try to post pics.
Its time to learn the art of handloading me thinks.
21 Aug 2016
@ 08:14 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Sticky bolt
OK, so the factory ammo was tight, then after fire forming it cycles OK.

As Marty said, the T3 rifles are tight chambered, though not as bad as the Brownings. When a chamber is this tight, slight variations in ammo manufacture tolerances will display such results. We are most likely talking just 2 thou too tight.

If the bolt lugs were uneven, then you could true the lugs and fix the chamber in one hit, in a DIY setting. But if the lugs are true, you may need to have the chamber set forwards just a touch if you find cycling very difficult.

I would be very interested to see if this rifle could handle neck sized hand loads and how many times a case could be fired before needing full length sizing. It may just be that the ammo itself is on the long side and that after fire forming, it goes OK. As you say, it was grouping well tightly fitted to the chamber.

Also as Marty said, make sure you grease the rear of the bolt lugs. Push hard forwards when you put the bolt back into the action, then close the bolt and release your forwards pressure. Metal galling is the only issue with a tight bolt.

Just keep an eye on the lugs. Visual inspection is all it takes to make sure all is well. There should also be a lead in chamfer to help you actually engage the lug rebates. Sometimes if there is no chamfer, it can make tight ammo near impossible to feed. But such problems are normally very rare. I think I have dealt with this only twice in my time.

22 Aug 2016
@ 10:07 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Sticky bolt
Yes factory ammo l have found to be the biggest offender in Tikkas as l said.

The brass fire forms then shrinks slightly which is why the brass chambers well after firing as Nathan mentioned. It may only be this batch of ammo and/or brand.
23 Aug 2016
@ 07:05 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: Sticky bolt
hi Mike
so i own a pair of hornady head space bushings (actually was meant to be a set of ogive gauges but picked up the wrong thing)
i decided i would check few cartridges from my tikka 270win. the fired brass is shorter then the non fired superformance rounds, from memory the all cycle fine those i haven't shot anything but hand loads in a while.

i did find variants in the live hornady rounds somewhere around .06mm which isn't much but when a cartridge head space's on that you can start to see how variants can effect the bolt feel.

if you don't understand what head spacing try googling it or youtube im sure it'll do a better job then i can.

i also checked some hornady rounds unfired and fired in my 308win mauser the fired brass was longer then the unfired rounds by about the same amount as in the tikka but the other way around just another example of how tight tikka tolerances are.



26 Aug 2016
@ 07:05 pm (GMT)

Mike Woodhead

Re: Sticky bolt
Thanks Nathan and forum members for the learning advice. I've decided to bite the bullet so to speak, once lay off happens im going to hit Nathans book on realoading buy all the gear required (have got boss/wife's approval ) and use this situation as a learning tool.
For now the goats of South taranaki are safe lol.
26 Aug 2016
@ 09:19 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Sticky bolt
Thanks Mike, much appreciated.
30 Aug 2016
@ 05:40 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: Sticky bolt
DISCLAIMER
RELOADING IS HIGHLY ADDICTIVE
NATHAN AND/OR STEPH FOSTER OR ANY MEMBER OF THE BALLISTIC STUDIES FORUM DOES NOT TAKE ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR STARTING YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY TO ADDICTION.
THERE IS NO CURE.
THERE IS NO 12 STEP PROGRAMME.
YOU MAY THINK IT WON'T HAPPEN TO YOU BUT IT WILL.

SYMPTOMS MAY INCLUDE SOME OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING.

1.BUYING DIFFERENT POWDERS JUST TO TRY IT.
2.BUYING POWDERS AND PROJECTILES IN BULK SO YOU DON'T RUN OUT.
3.BUYING DIES, BRASS AND PROJECTILES FOR A CALIBER YOU DON'T OWN YET.
4.NECKING UP OR DOWN ANY BRASS YOU CAN FIND.
5.DREAMING UP WILDCATS

PLEASE INFORM YOU SIGNIFICANT OTHER THAT.
1.THEY MIGHT BE EATING DINNER ALONE AS YOU TRY TO FINISH JUST A COUPLE MORE ROUNDS
2. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TO MUCH OR TO MANY RELOADING GIZMO'S FROM GAUGES, TO BRASS PREP TOOLS TO DIES THERE'S ALWAYS USE FOR MORE.

welcome to the club Mike the reloading book will help you get your head around things, please keep us updated as you work through it and most of all enjoy it, reloading can be a little daunting at first but you'll never regret it.
 

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